We have 3 months left before our teaching English contract here in China is up and we’ve officially started planning for our next trip! It’s turning out to be quite the process. We knew that travelling to one of the least touristy regions on the planet would present some difficulties, but it has still surprised us just how much has to go into this trip. The visas in post-Soviet Central Asia are becoming easier to obtain, but this doesn’t mean they’re easy.
In this region of the world, we need a visa (entrance permit stamped in our passport) for every country we’re visiting except for Kyrgyzstan. These permits have to be obtained before arriving and often require hotel bookings, train tickets in and out of the country and sometimes even a letter of invitation from a company in the country we hope to visit.
We spend our free time working on the website and planning for our next trip through Mongolia, Russia, Central Asia and possibly Europe. Our days off have been spent on Skype, calling embassies, waiting on hold, choosing routes, reserving train seats, booking flights and trying to lock down dates. This is definitely not our usual method of travel. We usually enjoy a spontaneous, free travel style but in Central Asia this isn’t always possible!
But, we’re going to do it and we’re extremely excited about it. We know that all of our efforts beforehand are going to be worth it! The good news for our readers is that once we blaze the trail, we’re going to post all of the information about obtaining visas, trains, and transport throughout the region to make it much easier for other people hoping to do the same trip!
Central Asia is one of the last frontiers of travel, and although it’s not easy to enter, we’ve heard from other travellers that it’s a true mecca of independent travel. A mixture of cultures span the Silk Road colliding over one of the most infamous trade routes of all time. There are stunning mosques, towering mountains and huge empty grasslands where people still live a nomadic lifestyle. We can’t wait to mount a horse, grab our trekking poles and join them.
Our goal is to find our way off the beaten path, in this already off the beaten path destination. We want to trek into the wilderness, stay with local families in yurts, and find our own way through this amazingly untouched region. Along the way we’re going to write about our experiences and the pros and cons of travel in this part of the world.
Make sure you stick around, it’s sure to be an amazing and extremely interesting journey!